AJAX: Web "shift" or business as usual?

You might have heard about AJAX, a term recently coined by by Jesse Garrett, co-founder of San Francisco consultancy Adaptive Path, for a group of existing Web development technologies like JavaScript and Dynamic HTML.

AJAX has gained fame through Google's use of older technologies to build its newest applications such as Google Maps and Gmail. "AJAX," Garrett wrote, "represents a fundamental shift in whatÂ’s possible on the Web."

Not everyone agrees, as you might imagine. Dare Obasanjo, a developer at Microsoft, questions the hype over "AJAX" and whether the industry has once again simply renamed old software in search of new profits.

"AJAX joins SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) in ignominy as yet another buzzword created by renaming existing technologies which becomes a way for some vendors to sell more products without doing anything new," Obasanjo writes. "What I find particularly disappointing about the AJAX hype is that it has little to do with the technology and more to do with the quality of developers building apps at Google."

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